The new tax year is almost upon us, and with it will come National Insurance increases and a rise in the energy price cap. If you’re already struggling financially, these additional factors could force you to take steps to remain financially resilient.
As the cost of living crisis looms, balance transfer credit card providers have started introducing sweeter deals to give borrowers that much-needed financial break. Let’s find out how.
How can balance transfer credit cards ease your financial pressure?
Balance transfer credit cards allow you to move your existing credit card debt to one new 0% interest card. The new credit card will offer a 0% interest rate for several months. This period with no interest payments is intended to help you pay off your debt quicker.
A transfer fee may be charged for longer periods (24 to 32 months), but there is often no transfer fee for shorter periods (up to 22 months). This means it’s important to carefully evaluate your financial situation to avoid paying more than you need to.
Further good news is that if you have a poor credit score, you don’t necessarily miss out. You may still be eligible for a balance transfer credit card. However, with a lower credit score, you may be charged a transfer fee, and you may be offered a reduced 0% interest rate period. Always crunch the numbers first to determine whether you’ll be able to reduce your financial pressure before choosing a particular deal and find out whether it’s cheaper than your current credit card.
What are the top-rated balance transfer credit cards for 2022?
Currently, MBNA has the longest 0% balance transfer card in the market, offering a 0% interest rate for 33 months. However, this comes with a 2.69% or 3.49% balance transfer fee, depending on your credit score.
Note that even though this card offers the longest period, it doesn’t mean it’s suitable for everyone. That’s why it’s important to compare different card deals and calculate which one is right for you.
Take a look at our list of top-rated balance transfer credit cards to find one that could suit your current financial needs. Don’t forget to read, understand and take into account all the card features, not just the length of the 0% interest period it offers.
What are the dos and don’ts of using a balance transfer credit card?
Each balance transfer card provider will have its own terms and conditions or features, meaning it’s crucial to read the fine print. However, with all of these cards there are a few key things to remember in order to make the most of your interest-free period:
- Any delayed or missed payments could result in a penalty fee or even removal of the 0% interest rate offer.
- Aim to pay off your debt before the 0% interest rate period ends. After this time, the credit card’s higher interest rate will be applied to any remaining debt.
- Check whether your card has a 0% interest rate offer on purchases and for how long. If it does, make sure you pay off any purchases you make using the card before that period expires.